How to get a truly fast and responsive GUI experience?

For several years I’ve been using Intel Bay Trail NUCs (N2820) for perfect 1080p playback with LibreELEC and a fast, lag-free, responsive GUI with the Aeon Nox Silvo skin. It also has fast seeking performance when scrubbing videos over gigabit NFS.

x86 boxes like these were the best I could find at the time that could provide the fastest and most responsive experience.

I’ve recently upgraded my media server for 4K HDR content and now I need to upgrade the players on all the TVs in the house.

Having spent a lot of time reading reviews and comments about the Minix U9-H and its supposed “snappy” interface, I recently purchased one and installed the latest LibreELEC Krypton tweaked build, with the data partition moved to the internal storage and overclocked the GPU.

I was disappointed to discover that the Minix was only about 70% as fluid as the NUC’s skin performance. Also despite the Minix having Gigabit Ethernet, it was slower than the NUC for scrubbing through movies with a longer delay after skipping to a different point in the video. The Minix was also slower at processing database queries as it took longer to load Kodi library elements.

I was confused why a four year old x86 box (that can be bought used for half the price of the U9-H) performed significantly better, then I discovered that the U9-H, being S912 based, does not use native GPU linux drivers which might explain the performance difference. In any case, I will be returning the Minix, because despite its 4K HDR capabilities, it still feels like a downgrade because of its slow usability performance.

I’m intrigued by the new Vero 4K+ and am considering buying 5 units to replace my NUCs. I have a mix of 4K and 1080p TVs but I’ll need players for the 1080P TVs too, as I have a lot of 4K HDR content that will need to be downscaled and tone mapped and the NUCs are too old to hardware decode x265.

Question 1: I assume the Vero 4K+ with AMLogic S905x uses native GPU drivers. If I replace my NUCs with the Vero 4K+, will the UI and scrub performance be significantly better than the Minix U9-H, and be at least as good as the four-year old NUCs that they will be replacing?

Question 2: If not, is there any 4K HDR player hardware out there that can actually provide a properly fast lag-free GUI experience?

Question 3: When playing 4K HDR content on a 1080p TV with a Vero 4K+ (downscaled and tone mapped), does refresh rate switching work? It doesn’t work on the Minix LibreELEC builds that I tried, which is another dealbreaker!

Thanks in advance.


Yes it does. We do not use the libhybris approach used on S912 devices. This leads to performance issues.

For the best visual results, you should run a GUI at 1080p, because Kodi’s scaler won’t be as good as your TV. You then enable ‘Adjust Refresh Rate’. When you play 4K content, it will be output at 4K automatically if your TV supports this. If you play 4K content on a 1080p TV, it will be output at 1080p, but the refresh rate will nonetheless be adjusted to match the source material.

There is HDR to SDR conversion.

Performance should be good. If you let us know what skin you are using others can confirm their experience with Vero 4K. Are you still using Aeon Nox Silvo?

The only thing where the Vero 4K needs improvement (although this is a design issue with Kodi) is dealing with folders with thousands of photos. This will likely be improved in Kodi at a later date.

My advice would be to order one. We have a money back guarantee. When the device meets your requirements, you can order 4x more.



Thanks for the incredibly fast reply.

Thanks for confirming, that sounds like right way to do it.

This is exactly what I do, as I have a Sony A1 OLED which has a high quality scaler.


Yes, I’m still using this skin, with a modest configuration - one widget panel per page.

Sounds good, I’m excited to try one out. Thanks for your insight!